Fantasy Part of Beach Volleyball Tour Site Relaunch

A while back, Nando Di Fino wrote in The Wall Street Journal about how fantasy could be a key to growing the popularity of professional beach volleyball. Now, the tour just might be one step closer.

On Jan. 22, the Association of Volleyball Professionals — the country’s only pro beach volleyball tour — launched a new website with the help of Digitaria. According to the press release from Digitaria, “fantasy games” will be among the offerings of this new online presence.

The site is being rolled out in pieces, and the fantasy section doesn’t appear to be one of the pieces available at this point. The current lineup beyond the homepage consists of the tour schedule up through late February and a news section.

It’s a shame that the games aren’t yet available, particularly in light of the announcement. AVP events are taking place, and it would seem to be a good chance to try to take advantage of a little publicity. That said, it’s not exactly equivalent to the NFL kicking off in September with no central fantasy operators running. There will be time for interested players to catch on if the AVP can market properly.

Digitaria could offer some more help on that front, as the new volleyball site coincides with the introduction of a new sports division within the digital media company. Digitaria has experience with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens among others.

The site itself is quite attractive and appears to be easy to navigate. We’ll have to see what comes of it as other new features are added. The press release seems to focus on enhancing the experience of the AVP’s fans, but if the new business partners hope to capitalize on the most recent Olympic gold medal for the U.S. women and satisfy a pretty decent list of sponsors — including Bud Light, McDonald’s, Nature Valley and Gatorade — they’ll have to grow that audience.

According to a snapshot, site traffic for hovered around 20,000 at the beginning of last year before spiking to 70,000 in August — when the Olympics were going on. Afterward, things quieted back down.

The pretty Web pages are a start, but attractive, enjoyable fantasy games sure would help a lot more. Just look at what FLW Outdoors was able to do with its fantasy fishing contest last year.


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